What have “pro-Palestinian” activists done for the Palestinians?
Did they help Palestinians achieve national independence? Did they help them build an economy? Did they help them build a civil society? Did they help them grow talent and integrity among their leaders? Did they help them define their identity as anything other than victims and terrorists?
Where are the pro-Palestinian conferences helping Palestinians achieve all these things? Where are the organizations who believe in the Palestinian identity and who help shape it towards the future? Where is the funding that would help grow the Palestinian civil society that Palestinian Bassem Eid believes is fundamental to the Palestinians’ future?
When the United Nations approved in 1947 the partition plan aiming to create a two-state solution that gave little to Jews, the Arabs were eager to kill it, and they used war to try to do it. Did anyone care that the Palestinians’ interests would have been greatly served by that plan?
Between 1948 and 1967, when Gaza and the West Bank were under full Arab control, did anyone attempt to create a Palestinian state on that land?
The Israel / Arab wars resulted in hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and even more Jews becoming refugees. The Jewish refugees were resettled in Israel and elsewhere, but who has attempted to resettle the Palestinian refugees? Who has cared that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have become millions and that they are still nothing but pawns in the hands other Arabs?
Who has attempted to stop the reign of terror in Gaza that causes frequent wars with Israel, with the horrific impact that each war has on Palestinian civilians?
No one has done any of those things. If there is a little of it being done, it is drowned out by the anti-Israel mob chanting “death to Israel” and “death to the Jews”, sometimes figuratively, and sometimes openly.
Despite anything that is said to the contrary, there is no such thing as a pro-Palestinian movement, not at the United Nations, not on university campuses, not among “pro-Palestinian” demonstrators, not among world politicians, and not even in the highly “pro-Palestinian” Israeli extreme left. There is only an anti-Israel movement, born from antisemitism, and nurtured by idiocy and ignorance.
However, despite the “pro-Palestinian” camp being a lot more anti-Israel than it is pro-Palestinian and despite the antisemitism of many in its ranks, this behavior is not totally unexpected and the “pro-Palestinian” activists are not completely at fault. Like any groupies, they are blindly doing what they believe their heroes (the Palestinians) expect of them.
The reality is that sane Palestinian voices such as Bassem Eid’s are few and far between. I see no Palestinian crowd marching behind Mr. Eid. The Palestinian crowds are marching behind extremists such as Hamas and Fatah, so it is natural for outsiders to assume that these terrorist groups represent the Palestinians, even if they do not at all represent the best interests of the Palestinians.
I hate to say this, but there is no alternative to the Palestinians growing up and taking responsibility for their own actions and their own future. Palestinians need a popular nationalist movement whose aim is to build Palestine rather than to destroy Israel. Although Golda Meir’s quote “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us” is condescending towards Palestinians, it is sadly the most accurate way to succinctly describe the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
Israel succeeded against a hugely larger Arab world because Jews were motivated to rebuild the Jewish nation. Their motivation was never to destroy anyone else’s nation; therefore, unlike the Palestinians, the Jews made decisions that benefited them as opposed to decisions that they believed would destroy their enemy. Palestinians must achieve this level of maturity if they are ever to be more than victims and terrorists in the eyes of the world.